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Fire Prevention Week teaches benefits of safety

Stop. Drop. Roll.

These classic safety tips will be among the techniques taught to children this week as National Fire Prevention Week sweeps across the county faster than any fire could.

Area fire departments are following the slogan and "Teaming up for Fire Safety" to educate elementary school students about the dangers of fires and how to respond.

The Ironton Fire Department was at Kingsbury Elementary School Monday to show the children a fire truck, a firefighter's gear, smoke alarms and explain how to react in case of a fire.

They will visit the other city elementary schools throughout the rest of the week.

The program is beneficial, and firefighters say they have had reports of children saving their families by following the instructions they learn at school, Chief Tom Runyon said.

"Safety is a thing people take for granted in some instances," he said. "For the younger ages, the most important thing is to teach them not to play with fire and teach responsibility."

The Ironton Department has participated in Fire Prevention Week since the program began about 15 years ago, Runyon said.

"We take this opportunity to go to all the schools in the city," Lt. Joe Stevens said. "We are probably more visible during this week but we do it all year round."

While impossible to say how many fires have been prevented over the years, without programs such as this one,

fires would probably be more common, he said.

It is important for the children to know the precautions they can take to prevent fires, Bob Rowe, third grade teacher at Kingsbury, said.

"We always go over it with them and reinforce it," he said. "They retain a lot of it, and I am sure they go home and share with their parents."

Many of the children said they want to be firefighters when they grow up.

Trey Beaman said he has been in all the fire trucks and wants to be like his friend, Ironton firefighter Louie Sheridan.

Fire Departments across the county are participating in Fire Prevention Week with parades and other educational activities.

South Point will host a parade at 7 p.m. Tuesday on Fourth Street in the village. Chesapeake will have a parade Saturday.

Proctorville will have a parade Thursday and the Rome Township Volunteer Fire Department will have a parade at 2 p.m. Sunday on state routes 7 and 243.